Sleep Idioms 

These sleep idioms are common expressions used in everyday English. You remember what an idiom is, right?

An idiom is a group of words that have a fixed meaning that is different than if you looked up the words separately in the dictionary. 


An infographic with the 8 sleep idioms listed on this page, with one cartoon woman sleeping soundly in bed and in another bed another cartoon woman is counting sheep.

More sentence examples

Let's look at additional sentence examples which will help you more easily remember these idioms. You can write your own sentence examples in the comments below for practice.


count sheep:  to  imagine sheep and count them jumping over a fence as a way to make yourself fall asleep... read more

  • Counting sheep doesn't work for my husband but it really helps me to sleep easily.
  • A: What are you mumbling about? Go to sleep!  B:  I'm counting sheep.


toss and turn:  to not sleep or to sleep very poorly, continually turning over in different positions.

  • I couldn't sleep because my wife was tossing and turning all night long.
  • The bed at my grandma's was so uncomfortable I tossed and turned the entire night.

not sleep a wink:  to not sleep at all. 

  • My daughter did not sleep a wink last night because she had to finish her paper for school.
  • This is going to be terrible.  A 14-hour flight and I cannot sleep a wink on planes.

wide awake:  to be completely awake.

  • At 2:00 am, I went downstairs to check on the kids and they were wide awake playing video games.
  • What are you doing wide awake at this hour?  You should already be asleep.

go out like a light:  to go to sleep very quickly.

  • I didn't even change out of my clothes when I got home. I was so tired I sat down on the sofa and went out like a light
  • The kids were so tired from swimming today they went out like a light without asking for a bedtime story.


sound asleep:  to sleep very well.

  • The baby is finally sound asleep so I'm going to clean up the dishes and start laundry.
  • Your mom said you were sound asleep so I told her not to wake you.

sleep like a baby / sleep like a log:  in  

  • My husband sleeps like a log. Nothing can disturb him but I wake up at the slightest sound.
  • At the end of yoga class we had 15 minutes of meditation and half the class was sleeping like a baby.


dead to the world:  In a very deep sleep that makes it difficult to wake someone.

  • After four margaritas at Happy Hour, I went home, got in bed at 7:00 PM and was dead to the world.
  • You came by last night?  I didn't even hear the doorbell.  I guess I was dead to the world

You might like these other idiom infographics

Your turn to practice!

The best way to learn new vocabulary is to use it in your own practice sentences. You can write your own sentences in the comments below and I will correct any errors.


> > Sleep Idioms

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